We Dance to the Rhythm of 49 Heartbeats

The Pulse Massacre 5 Years Later By Erika Grumet In December of 2012, the day after my youngest child turned 3, on what had begun as a typical Friday (with a little extra crankiness because there had been an extended evening of celebrations the night before) the Facebook News Network broke a story about aContinue reading “We Dance to the Rhythm of 49 Heartbeats”

Picture of Erika’s (Most Camera-Loving) Cat

For anyone who has been reading Erika’s gorgeous, soul-searching articles of late and wondering: where does she find the balance between inner fire and inner calm that would allow her to write like that, we trust this picture raises far more questions than it will ever answer.

#ActLoveGive-A Request from Erika

by Erika Grumet This weekend will mark the fifth anniversary of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, an unimaginable and heartbreaking tragedy targeting our LGBTQ+ family, and in particular BIPOC members of our LGBTQ+ family. We’ll bring you a longer piece about that over the weekend, but I have a request this week,Continue reading “#ActLoveGive-A Request from Erika”

The AIDS Epidemic: Fortieth Anniversary: A Personal History

By Erika Grumet Forty years ago today, the first reports of the “pneumonia” that we would eventually know was AIDS broke. As the most senior member of the Ivory Tower Boiler Room team, and the one with the most experience in HIV and AIDS related topics, (and the one who brought it up during planningContinue reading “The AIDS Epidemic: Fortieth Anniversary: A Personal History”

June Preview-Welcome to Pride Month 2021: The Ivory Tower Boiler Room Celebrates, Reflects, and Memorializes

Book spines with different LGBTQ* Pride Flags This month is a big deal for us. We are keeping to the established pattern–a big think every Monday, a podcast every Saturday, and shorter content in between. But leading up to this, the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, we will be using those established patterns toContinue reading “June Preview-Welcome to Pride Month 2021: The Ivory Tower Boiler Room Celebrates, Reflects, and Memorializes”

Antivax Racists are Trying to Repurpose the Yellow Star of David

By Erika Grumet When I was a kid, I would occasionally encounter people with numbers tattooed on their arms. I don’t remember a time when Nazis and what they had done to Jews (and by extension, my own family) weren’t a part of my consciousness. I heard the stories first hand from the survivors, inContinue reading “Antivax Racists are Trying to Repurpose the Yellow Star of David”

You Don’t Look a Day Over 200

By Erika Grumet It’s birthday time here. Mine is this week, although I am nowhere near 200, but we’ll also be celebrating Walt Whitman’s 202nd birthday with this weekend’s episode of The Ivory Tower Boiler Room. I think it’s hard to grow up where I did on Long Island and not have at least a Continue reading “You Don’t Look a Day Over 200”

May Wrap Up: The month of May was come

By Erika Grumet when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit. -Thomas Malory Lusty for clicks and comments for sure… When I sat down to write this, I had a cat at my feet, a cat at my head, and one under my right elbow, who was also insisting on sharingContinue reading “May Wrap Up: The month of May was come”

Erika’s Big Think #1:

Coming out of the Poetry Closet By Erika Grumet It’s a little ironic, I was the one who proposed that the topic for this month’s Big Think… should be “writing about ourselves as writers.” Of all the members of the Ivory Tower team, I’m the one who really struggles to self-identify as “a writer” andContinue reading “Erika’s Big Think #1:”

Sunday is for Swearing

By Adam Katz So. Erika and I were talking about the difference between a fanny-pack and a bum-bag. I didn’t know until a few days ago that, what in the United States, call a ‘fanny pack,’ in Britain is called a “bum bag,” apparently because in England (and elsewhere) “fanny” is a euphemism for “vagina.”Continue reading “Sunday is for Swearing”

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